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“city in the clouds”
Review of Monte Alban

Monte Alban
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Monte Alban Day Trip from Oaxaca
Ranked #3 of 134 things to do in Oaxaca
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The ruins of this ancient Zapotec capital make up one of the most important archaeological sites in all of Latin America.
Reviewed 31 May 2013

We have taken half day tour with agency Descubre Oaxaca. To be honest i think the best impression to this site gave our guide who was zapoteco, so he was teaching us some words in zapoteco and it really felt with him like we re back in time when Monte Alban was fluorishing. We could imagine people life style there, sacrifications, difference in life of nobelty and ppl from village who were bringing them water. There is amazing view over nearby region. After climbing pyramids you have breathtaking views.

Thank _Matea_2411
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"mountain top"
in 30 reviews
"archaeological site"
in 53 reviews
"amazing site"
in 23 reviews
"gets hot"
in 17 reviews
"mayan ruins"
in 17 reviews
"guide book"
in 20 reviews
"ancient city"
in 17 reviews
"wear a hat"
in 21 reviews
"ball court"
in 23 reviews
"awe inspiring"
in 20 reviews
"round trip"
in 19 reviews
"bring water"
in 26 reviews
"small museum"
in 56 reviews
"oaxaca valley"
in 30 reviews
"walk around"
in 25 reviews
"zapotec culture"
in 23 reviews
"worth the trip"
in 31 reviews

1,419 - 1,423 of 3,688 reviews

Reviewed 30 May 2013

Nice to know a place were the first people had citys and dance room hospitals.. great ruins, great views, first soccer like field and game.. great place to know old arquitecture, and how they used to build things that to this date still stands

1  Thank Miguel M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2013

Be prepared to be awed, it is quite an amazing location and certainly a wonderful example of how "primitive" people lived

1  Thank moll0911
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2013 via mobile

After almost 10 years I came back to these ruins only to find they were lovelier than I remembered. It was a cloudy day, but I still suggest you take an umbrella or a hat and lots of sunblock! I got a light sunburn on my arms because I was too confident. The guide was very informative,and gave us many interesting facts about the "dancers", architecture, history and even about the plants. The view is breathtaking, inspiring and the sights glorious, especially if looking from the high point of the ruins. Nevertheless, it's helpful to know beforehand one will be going up TALL sets of steps. Be physically ready!

Thank Ghostess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 26 May 2013

I've been to Monte Alban many times and I've got to disagree with some of the other reviews. First, don't even think that a hat is going to be enough. Instead, take a big umbrella, one for each person in your party. Keep your shade with you at all times! Don't worry, you won't look strange holding an umbrella on a cloudless day. You will fit right in with the locals who have experienced Monte Alban's special kind of sun. And if even if you are the only one at the time, everyone else will wish they were as clever. Without the umbrella, you won't last long - 1 hour at most, sunburned and heat exausted, and that's not enough time to cover a site that is worth more time. (You'll think I earned a helpful vote if you follow this advise) Carry an ice water with you as well.
I have never been on the same tour twice, each guide seems to have their own interests. Only once have I been taken to the residential area which I thought was interesting because the house had its own tomb underneath so families continued to "live" with their dead. It really became clear the modern Mexicans relationship with their dead (Day of the Dead, etc) is truely Mexican culture, not Spanish. If you have kids with you, they will enjoy a look in a tomb. Some guides are into pointing out where various treasure was found. For this reason I highly recomend visiting the museum at Santo Domingo (where many of the treasures are housed now) BEFORE going to Monte Alban. And once I had a guide that wasn't going to take us to see the "Dancers"! Don't let this happen to you as the "dancers" are one of the things unique to Monte Alban.
One reviewer said Monte Alban was not as good as Chichen Itza. That is false. The Mayan ruins are great as well, no argument. But those are the ruins of Mayan peoples, living in the costal jungal, at a later time. Monte Alban is much older, from the Zapotec people, and in a completly different environment - semi-arid mountian top! You can't say one is better, they are too different and both are equally worthy of being seen.
Finally, the cafe has great lemonade and tacos and super view. Treat yourself to a refreshing rest after your tour.
All of the other great things said about Monte Alban - true!

1  Thank Taylor B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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